2012: A Year of Strange Landscapes

Ognen Teofilovski—Reuters
Ognen Teofilovski—Reuters
Feb. 11, 2012. Fishermen break the ice to save the fish at the frozen Dojran lake, Macedonia.

In the fall of 2012, the Mars Curiosity Rover—after years of travel—finally reached its destination, touching down on the Red Planet and transmitting back to Earth a series of strange landscapes of the planet’s surface. Here on Earth, the scenery sometimes resembled the barren Martian terrain, as wildfires, droughts and natural disasters shaped the landscapes of Earth. Climate change, too, had a say on Earth’s canvas—bringing a cold snap to Europe, a dusting of snow to the Middle East and a super-powered hurricane to the East Coast of the United States.

But as much as natural phenomena shaped Earth’s landscapes, humans forced their intentions upon Earth as well. Wars in the DRC and Syria reduced entire city structures to rubble. Careless chemical spills dyed our waters strange and unnatural colors, and continued deforestation in Brazil’s rainforests left huge swathes arid and bare. And finally, large-scale accidents remind us of man’s hubris, like the Costa Concordia in Italy— it’s abandoned carcass standing as a monument to man’s recklessness.

Here, TIME looks back on the byproducts of man’s folly and nature’s fury in a gallery of the year’s strange and surreal landscapes.

Related Topics: , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Irrawaddy River

#LightBoxFF: Along For the Ride With Lauren Decicca and Andre Malerba

Documentary photographers Lauren Decicca and Andre Malerba didn't think Instagram could help them in their career. Now, they use it to take their followers -- photo editors included -- on a journey through Burma with their vibrant and evocative images

Read More
Tobacco Tale

Inside Bangladesh’s Cheap Cigarette Factories

Artificial Light

In Defense of Flash: A Homage to Harsh Lighting